Course Hero. "Cloud 9 Study Guide." Course Hero. 19 Jan. 2017. Web. 4 June 2020. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cloud-9/>.
Course Hero. (2017, January 19). Cloud 9 Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 4, 2020, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cloud-9/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "Cloud 9 Study Guide." January 19, 2017. Accessed June 4, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cloud-9/.
Course Hero, "Cloud 9 Study Guide," January 19, 2017, accessed June 4, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cloud-9/.
It is early morning on the veranda. Edward asks Joshua to tell him "another bad story" and Joshua complies, telling Edward a native tale about the creation of the moon and humans. He assures Edward the story isn't really true because "God made man white like him and gave him the bad woman" who caused "all this trouble." Clive and Harry enter, and Clive tells the others British soldiers set fire to a village the night before, so everyone will need to stay in the house today.
What follows is another revolving door of characters having private conversations. They are, in order:
As far as the audience knows, Joshua has completely bought into western culture and Christianity. When Edward asks to hear a "bad" story, Joshua knows he really means a story from Joshua's native culture. Likewise, people from Joshua's tribe, and even Joshua's parents, are "bad" people. Whether Joshua actually believes these things or not is up for debate and almost entirely dependent on the actor's portrayal of the character. Yet from a strictly textual standpoint, it appears as if Joshua isn't as docile as he seems. Out of everyone in the family he is outwardly respectful only to Clive. He spies on the others and runs to Clive with his findings. There is a sense he is trying to tear apart the family from the inside, and each of his reports divides the characters even further. His last dispatch to Clive, however, results in a rift he wasn't expecting: one between himself and his master.
Clive's knee-jerk reaction to Joshua's insinuation that Ellen and Betty are lovers isn't unusual for the Victorian era. Homosexuality between men was acknowledged, but not accepted, and became illegal in 1885. Female homosexuality, on the other hand, was considered to be so outrageous and repulsive that it wasn't acknowledged at all. Lesbians of course existed in the 19th century, as they have throughout history, but their relationships were often hidden behind the intimacy of female friendships, which have long been a hallmark of traditional femininity. This is likely how Betty views her relationship with Ellen, as she doesn't seem to understand Ellen's declarations of love as being romantic in nature. As for Clive, he is completely appalled by the mere mention of a female-female sexual relationship, which violates the rigid Victorian principles he holds so dear.
Clive exposes himself as a misogynist, or someone who hates women, in Act 1, Scene 4. This isn't just a case of father knows best—he comes right out and tells Harry women are "irrational, demanding, inconsistent, treacherous, lustful," which he views as threats to manhood. In his mind a woman's worth is limited to her role in reproduction, the family unit, and pleasure. These views make Clive the least sympathetic character in the play, which is purposeful on Churchill's part. To develop the themes of power, gender roles, sexual identity, and feminism, there needs to be a constant force the characters rally against. That force is Clive, who represents the white male patriarchy. He has to stay the same so everyone else can change.